Introduction: PVC Bow

Picture of PVC Bow

My homemade PVC bow! Shoot Practice arrows or homemade arrows through boxes! Cost less than $5 !!! .............DISCLAIMER: MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS IS A WEAPON. DO NOT SHOOT AT ANYTHING FRAGIAL OR ANYONE. IF ANY PROBLEM OR DESTRUCTION IS CAUSED BY THIS, I CLAIM NO RESPONSIBILITY.



4 ft. of 1/2in. PVC (ALSO HAD ALOT OF THIS)
duct tape
elastic string( i used this cause i have alot of it! use nylon its better!!)
1 panel nail
Practice arrows'

Step 2: Cut the PVC

Picture of Cut the PVC

Cut a slit into each side bout a 1/2in. in.


Step 3: Measure the String

Picture of Measure the String

Cut the ELASTIC exactly 1ft smaller than the PVC !

Loop both sides and put it in the notching.

Then connect the other side! And make sure when the string want stretch no more!'

Step 4: Finishing the Final Touches

Picture of Finishing the Final Touches





Step 5: Your Finished!!

shoot Arrows through boxes with this bow!! '


Kiteman (author)2007-10-22

This isn't as good as it looks. As Handsome-Ryan said, PVC splinters. In this case, the shards would come out of the front of the bow, into the palm of your hand. PVC is invisible to X-ray imaging, so they would require surgery just to check if there are any in your hand. If you want to make a cheap play bow, use wood or plywood. If you seriously want to practice your archery skills, then either buy a proper bow, or learn how to make your own proper bow.

killall117 (author)Kiteman2008-02-12

ok then mr. obvios since you know everything how about you go buy a "proper" bow and shoot yourself in the foot loser

Kiteman (author)killall1172008-02-12

You've been here what, one day?

Little advice: do a bit of checking before you shoot your mouth off and make yourself look even sillier.

Some of us use proper bows on a regular basis.

(Of course, some of us have the sense not to start our first day on a major site by posting insults instead of useful material.)

mazeka.14 (author)Kiteman2009-01-23

That was an unnecessary remark. not appreciated. and some people like myself like doing dangerous things, improvising, and trying new things like pvc bows and other pvc weapons.

mr_pizza3 (author)mazeka.142017-04-10

Thank You!

Kiteman (author)mazeka.142009-01-24

If you bothered to check who the remark was addressed to, and what it was in reply to, then you would see it was entirely necessary.

You want to make a PVC bow? Feel free, no skin off my nose.

Although it could easily be a lot of skin, tendons, severed blood vessels and nerve damage off your hand when it splinters under tension.

mazeka.14 (author)Kiteman2009-01-24

There is tape around where your hand will be resting you know...

Kiteman (author)mazeka.142009-01-25

So then it splinters further up and lacerates your forearm...

mazeka.14 (author)Kiteman2009-01-26

and? i branded myself yesterday, i got over it, if some thing blew up in my hand, I'd get over it, so come on and get a life!!!

Kiteman (author)mazeka.142009-01-27

I can't help wondering, with an attitude like that, will you have a life this time next year?

Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2009-01-27


Seriously guys, are you still in middle-school? Kiteman, stop being a dumbass. you said what needed to be said the first time, you are just defeating your purpose by continuing to smart off. i've been shooting "propper bows" literaly all my life, and made improper ones for a better part of my childhood it as well, so let me clear something up: plywood = no. it will probably work once or twice, but once you start pulling the layers apart by bending it, it will loose its strength and/or break. also, pvc will work fine if you are just screwing around, i've done it. if you are afraid of it breaking then just wrap the WHOLE thing in tape. even masking or painters tape would work if you put down a couple layers. what does that cost, $.08 per foot?

Kiteman (author)captian america2012-09-19

Oh, do keep up! This thread is nearly four years old!

(Oh, and when the thread was active, I *was* in Middle School... as a teacher. Things move on, I now teach in a high school. Science and "shop", if you care.)

kentuckyshooter (author)Kiteman2015-10-23

yes and you are still uneducated about making bows.

Kiteman (author)kentuckyshooter2015-10-23


OK, we get it, you've made some bows, and you're not dead. Does that make you an expert in materials technology? Or just lucky? Your hours-old profile doesn't make it very clear...

mazeka.14 (author)Kiteman2009-02-24


kentuckyshooter (author)Kiteman2015-10-23

WRONG, as i have seen about 50-60 pvc bows and shot many of them and have yet to see one brake ,splinters come from fiberglass and we are talking about pvc that contains no fiberglass, and as far as braking and causing bodily harm i have seen a $1000.00 dollar bow limb break and cut a guys arm,so it really does not matter what you use to make a bow or buy the most expensive bow known to man you still face the dangers of it braking no matter what.

Kiteman (author)kentuckyshooter2015-10-23

It didn't happen to you, therefore it didn't happen?

PVC becomes brittle with age and stress - the more you use them, the greater the chance of a splinter.

kentuckyshooter (author)Kiteman2015-10-23

not every person is rich like you are as some of us just need to hunt for the sole purpose to feed our family and put meat in the freezer and cant afford to just open our wallets and take out $500.00 for a nice compound bow or in a lot of cases a recurve is even more expensive.

Kiteman (author)kentuckyshooter2015-10-23

When did this become about money?

kiteman ,you are obviously uneducated in the field of making bows with pvc as i have made many bows and they are not play bows as i have one i made several years ago and have taken three deer with it as it has a 49 pound draw on it .I have yet to se any type of splintering or cracks in it.

Kiteman (author)kentuckyshooter2015-10-23


killall117 i think you should do it yourself kite heil


lllalllo (author)killall1172008-12-29

This isn't eBay or Craigslist. This is "Instructables - Make, How To, and DIY"

rootbeerben3 (author)killall1172008-06-17

Dude, go jump in a bunch of dung. You need to learn that some people care about doing thing right or "proper". SO stop shooting off your mouth, jerk

ThePyroManiac (author)Kiteman2008-03-15

Would plywood work? That would be new to me if it doesn't break. And/Or splinter. Thanks for the info, I'll look at the hardware store for anything I can find suitable for my shotgun pump action crossbow. I was almost going to use PVC but I realized I'll have trouble screwing it in. And then I was a bit lost on what to do. Also can you recommend that I use a crossbow or a ballista? An answer would be appreciated.

NO ,do not use plywood as it will be the very first item to splinter and break on you as plywood is glued and made in layers it will split when bent,plywood is only meant to be flat.

Kiteman (author)kentuckyshooter2015-10-23

Yes, it's a well-known fact that plywood is only ever flat, and instantly self-destructs the moment any curvature is applied...

Kiteman (author)ThePyroManiac2008-03-15

Plywood certainly works for bows - the "proper" bows I've used all had plywood bodies, but the arms were painted, so I don't know what they were made of. If you're going for pump action, then you want a crossbow, since a ballista is just a huge crossbow for firing spear-sized bolts at fortifications.

kentuckyshooter (author)Kiteman2015-10-23

This statement you just made proves you do not know anything about making a bow or the capability's of the strength of plywood ,suggesting to someone to make a bow out of plywood you are asking them to get hurt as when plywood brakes at full draw on a bow the part of the limb that brakes will hit that person in the face due to the string being attached to it.

Kiteman (author)kentuckyshooter2015-10-23

Oh, dear, did you really join this site to argue with comments made eight years ago?

I have been doing archery on and off for around twenty years, and every single bow I have used has had a body made of laminated layers of wood with non-parallel grain alignment.

(Checks dictionary)

What do you know... that's plywood!

Thax (author)Kiteman2009-04-16

Your "proper" bows are laminates of different layers of wood, but that's not the same as the cheap plywood construction materials at your local lumber yard. Trying to use those will only make you cry when the thing cracks in half when you try to put any strain on it.

ikearoni (author)ThePyroManiac2012-05-20

plywood would not work, not because it is of cheap quality (I know the plywood in my brothers skateboards are much stronger than solid wood) but because plywood is laminated so that the grain of one layer does not align with the grain in adjacent layers.... so when some layers flexed the other layers would just snap.

Spaceman Spiff (author)Kiteman2014-10-09

what about reinforcing the PVC by doubling it up or use schedule 80 pipe, and inserting a fiberglass rod?

TechNerd1012 (author)Kiteman2009-12-27

Another thing you could do to protect yourself is to wrap the grip area (maybe even the entire bow for that matter!) with some kind of tape (I used duct and electrical tape), and to wear a glove or something. I found a nice, thick glove at Target near the camping area that works well! It also helps to keep the arrow from scraping your arm and hand when you let it go.

paulm (author)Kiteman2007-10-26

ouch. I have gotten splinters from a fiberglass arrow once, but they came out. would the pvc ones come out eventually? (sounds like my bamboo bow was a better media for a bow...)

X_D_3_M_1 (author)Kiteman2007-10-22

yep ur right. Making it is much better. you get the right height and stuff. Anyways, PVC CANT SPRING OR BEND, so either way its sucky for a bow. BTW, broken fishing rods are good for junior robin hoods. nice n springy. recycled

ilpug (author)2010-03-29

 PVC is the worst material for bows because it shatters. i saw the air cannon next to your bed!

mr_pizza3 (author)ilpug2017-04-10

No, not at all. Well, if you use thin wall, than maybe, you should use at least schedule 4o pipe. It shouldn't break.

jmoney46895 (author)ilpug2017-02-08

I have seen PVC bows fail. Roll up 3-5 pieces of paper and bend. Looks similar. compare that to wood or fiberglass.

Plo Koon (author)ilpug2011-09-06

Does it really? PVC doesn't seem like it would shatter.

ilpug (author)Plo Koon2011-09-06

go get a piece of PVC and smash it with a big hammer. it will shatter into pieces if stressed enough. wear eye protection.

kentuckyshooter (author)ilpug2015-10-23

I have yet in all my years see a person take a hammer to there bow as when you make a pvc bow you are pulling the string back at a slow speed and when you let the arrow fly it still does not give the pvc the impact of hitting it with a hammer ,also if your pvc shattered with hitting it with a hammer ,it was not pvc as i have done the same thing to show someone that they are safe as i used a 2 pound mini sledge hammer and hit the piping several times and all it did was crush the pipe,no splinters or pieces.When a person talks about splinters or shattering,the only thing hat does that is fiberglass and yes some people use fiberglass rods inside the pvc piping when they make there bows but that is inside the pvc pipe to make the bow have more poundage and if it does crack or splinter it is protected inside the pvc pipe,it is not like it will explode the bow all it will do is lesson the bow draw strength and if they make a straight bow and have not heated up the limbs to flatten them out,the can just slip out the old fiberglass rod or rods and replace them with new ones,this will only work if you have made a simple pvc bow,it will not work if you have gone through the work of making a bow with flat limbs and bends in it,then you wuld have to make a new bow or test it to see what the poundage is because if it is still above 45 pounds there will be no need to change anything as it is not like the fiberglass rod will harm you inside the pvc pipe,and if you are worried about fiberglass dust, as i have done before is gt a couple corks from wine bottles and use a rubber mallet and tap them into each end of the bow on till they are flush with the pvc and that completely seals the ends of the bow.The only bad thing hen you do this is you can not change the string if it happens to fray,this is why i alway suggest that all bows be made with bow string,that can be purchased in a 100 foot pool this is how i purchase it and you can get it in any colour,i suggest if a person is going to make bows that they purchase the best bowstring out there so the never have to change there string as the strings that are made now are very strong and do not fray.I do hope this information helps some people that are DIY bow makers as a proper made pvc bow can be handed down to you son or daughter,because it is up to us to keep up and passing down the heritage of bow hunting or just bow shooting for generations to come.

kentuckyshooter (author)Plo Koon2015-10-23

I have made a lot of PVC bows and not one has splintered or shattered, I have one that is 10 years old and the only thing i have noticed is if it is very old it looses a little draw power ,for example the bow was when i first made it's draw was 53 pound's and now when i tested it with a bow poundage scale it has lost about 5 pounds and that still makes it a legal bow to hunt with as in most states it is required to have a bow with no less than a 45 pound draw strength to hunt deer sized game.

slowstang88 (author)2010-11-02

i have made pvc bows from 1" pipe but i filled the pipe with construction foam and braided 3 strands of nylon kite string together for the string and it was powerful enough to take down small game.

That is a very good idea as that will eliminate the use of fiberglass rods inside the pvc pipe,I will make my next one using expanding foam and i am sure depending on how long you make the bow you could probably make one that has a 45+ draw to it,but one suggestion is to not use kite string and to get actual bow string,just to prevent any strings from snapping.Good job

Izzahf (author)kentuckyshooter2016-01-02

what kind of string that i should buy for the pvc bow after make it?

thats awesome.

kratosares (author)2012-09-04

I have confirmed the usefulness of PVC pipe schedule 40, by date, on making bows of different sizes and strength. and I must say too, that is will NOT be the same as a factory made bow, but as his "survivor counterpart" wonders. for target practice, or hunting, you just have to switch arrows. and for worst or best... IT WORKS. 1/2 inch pipe has the strength of 25-30 pounds aprox. while 3/4 inch has 35-42 pounds. just imagine strength in 1 inch pipe... 50 + !!!!! Of course , nothing of this comes without a bit of extra work. you need a "jig", a heater gun, patience and experience through practice, to get some exquisites bows made out of plain pvc. the DO NOT SHATTER... THEY BEND. if you do a sloppy job. the one who teach me this can teach all of you... AND FOR FREE.Nicholas Tomihana is his name, and got his own channel on you tube, calle the Backyard Bowyer. I suggest all of you seek for this out of this world Yoda from Hawaii, and learn some new skills. receiver545, this is for you, and all the community of thinkers, that bow you made, even I feel proud for just seeing it, cause it tells me that you, as pretty much of this group love to do things by yourself. Some ignorants call us "freaks", "locos" crazies and so on... I prefer to call us "muties".. the evolution of next.... better than go shopping.. it is much better and self-satisfying to BUILD IT. Take care, and keep on.

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